In March 2010, the Copyright Office organized an international training program for developing countries and countries in transition on emerging issues in copyright and related rights and issues pertaining to blind and visually impaired persons. The week-long program, which was co-sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization, brought together delegates from 22 countries to hear from 61 U.S. government and outside expert speakers about a variety of facets to the accessibility question, as well as a range of approaches that have been used by different countries to provide accessible works to blind and visually impaired persons.
Participants explored the intersection of copyright law, technology, the marketplace and international cooperation in efforts to increase access to copyrighted works for the blind and visually impaired. They explored the relationship of international treaties and conventions to the provision of national exceptions for the blind and visually impaired, and looked at national case studies for Kenya and other African nations, Chile, and the United States. The participants also learned about work being done at WIPO in the Stakeholders’ Platform and the SCCR, where efforts are underway to build international consensus and a treaty drafted under the auspices of the World Blind Union has been introduced by several WIPO Member States. They looked at how a variety of factors affected the ability to provide access, including the impact of public/private partnerships, the role of libraries, the development of technological standards, the availability of technological protection measures, the possibility of extended collective licensing, and the doctrine of fair use. Over the course of the week participants heard from stakeholders including advocacy and service organizations, authors, publishers, and trusted intermediaries.
Additional details about the program can be found at the links below.